DWU announces hiring of new Provost

DWU announces the hiring of Dr. Derek Driedger for the position of provost.

MITCHELL – Dakota Wesleyan University announces the hiring of Dr. Derek Driedger for the position of provost. Driedger has served as interim provost since June.

Driedger joined the university in 2007 as a faculty member in the Department of English. Since that time, he has held several positions including department chair, Associate Dean of Digital Learning, Program Director for Graduate Education, Dean of Adult and Professional Studies and served as Associate Provost from 2020 until his appointment to the interim position. He was promoted to tenured full professor in 2018.

About Driedger’s hiring, DWU president Dr. Dan Kittle said, “Derek has my full confidence, and it is clear from the feedback received that he has the confidence of his colleagues. He leads with integrity, having a deep commitment to students, his faculty and staff colleagues, and to all of us who share a passion for the mission and values of DWU.”

Driedger holds Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His bachelor’s degree in Communications is from the University of North Dakota.

Driedger has been instrumental in several DWU initiatives, most recently the university’s 5-year retention initiative, establishment of the new nursing program in Rapid City, oversight of all accreditation efforts including the upcoming Higher Learning Commission Quality Initiative and development of the new strategic plan.

About his appointment, Driedger said, "I very much appreciate the support and encouragement from the campus community through the search process. I am excited and appreciative of the opportunity to serve on the leadership team at DWU where the campus culture positions us for near-term and long-term success. If we take care of all of our students in various spaces and places and work together as a team across all departments the university will continue to grow its influence in the region."

A provost at a university is a critical appointment who leads all academic initiatives, helps develop curriculum, supervises faculty, oversees and supports student life offices, works in concert with the president and president’s cabinet, and holds numerous other leadership responsibilities. Driedger was ultimately selected from a pool of more than 50 candidates who applied through a rigorous nationwide search. A committee of seven faculty and staff members conducted the search from launch through final recommendation, hosting a dozen Zoom interviews and three on-campus candidate visits along the way.

Concluded Kittle about DWU’s new provost, “We appreciate Derek’s kindness, his willingness to listen, and his ability to advance meaningful work that positively impacts students from all walks of life.”

Driedger and his spouse, Rebecca Metzger Driedger, have two daughters, Racquel, 17, and Karina, 14. He will begin his new position immediately.